What are the railroads doing with money they make off penalty charges? For international & domestic just 1 month:

doesn't include what the ocean lines charge for their own daily per diem
doesn't include costs paid for yard pulls to avoid these rail storage charges

79 companies reporting, Ramp Storage paid:  CHICAGO   August 1-31, 2021: $12,478,137
13-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 161 storage paid for August, to Chicago rails $2,524,080
10-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 190 for August, to Chicago rails $916,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 98 $876,489
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 100 Just for August. It is an absurd number and they do nothing to make the driver dwell times any better. $710,785
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 60 $680,037
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 95 $600k for August rail storage! $600,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 30 for approx 85 drivers running Chicago rails. ($2M paid last month to rails nationwide, so more than ¼ is paid just for Chicago rail storage) $550,000
13-Sep-21 3rd-party (FL) $450,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 60 In the month of August 2021 we outlaid $394,260.00 in rail storage. If you need other months, please let me know. $394,260
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 100 just for the month of Aug 2021 $378,625
9-Sep-21 Draymen (MI) 74 in storage during the month of August. The rising frustration rests with chassis availability. There seems to be big surges of containers coming into Chicago and not following a steady stream like they have in the past. This causes a large amount of containers to land all with the same LFD. Rail yards such as BNSF with their W lot and GL4 with their STACK lot have also contributed to high $$ in storage for something that is completely out of the customer or carrier’s control. The severe lack of decent chassis has made it very difficult to pull from non-wheeled yards. The long flip lines in both BNSF LPC and GL4 has also caused our driver’s to not be able to pull a unit due to their HOS running out.
Overall our driver retention has been diminished and the frustration on our driver’s end, dispatch’s end, and customer’s end has increased substantially.
9-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 100 a month in paying storage on behalf of customers $300,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 50 Rail shortens our last free time, has no chassis’ for us to get the loads out and they don’t have enough RV numbers / allocations for empties so we can get more loads out of the ramp with the equipment we have on the street. The lack of 40 ft. chassis in Chicago is making things the worse for us right now. The has been going on for a while so you would not like to see what we have paid in storage for the year. Here is what we paid in August. $262,945
10-Sep-21 3rd-party (CA) $252,000
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) Keep in mind we have been trying our best to push payment on the customers. Just today my customers paid around 56k in storage for containers I am hauling tomorrow. Monday I had 100k worth of storage due to CN on 6 containers that my customer covered. I can't imagine the amount of money flowing in from storage. $250,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 200 for august 2021 $225,000
10-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 50 $197,240
9-Sep-21 3rd-party (TX) just UP/BNSF Chicago $175,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 40 August, for G4, LPC and CN Harvey $167,685
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 44 $165,115
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 27 $135,690
8-Sep-21 Draymen (WI) 40 Year to date $325,000 with August alone being $125,000 $125,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 15 it's become ridiculous and then Bnsfs excuse of shortening Free time and raising the storage charge was that it was taking truckers too long to pick up units. It's honestly a gross abuse of power. I would estimate July at $100k and August at $122k seems to be zero improvement. $122,000
16-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 35 $98,850
10-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 30 Insanity.......... BNSF - $9,525 CSX - $14,650 CP - $7,300 Norfolk $20,325 CN $40,980 UP $3,920 For August $97,700 $97,700
10-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 30 $88,990
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (OH) to the rail companies during the month of August, 2021. These numbers only show the fraction of amounts we had directly paid to the rail companies and do NOT include the rail storage amounts we paid through our drayage carriers who had paid it on our behalf and got reimbursed later on their sales invoices $84,000
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (WI) this is completely insane what is going on between the Ocean Carrier and Rail yards. Customers are beyond frustrated and what is even more mind blowing that the Rail yards can require the importer to pay storage and not even make the container available. In rough number for RAIL storage, demurrage below is what was paid for the month of August. Happy to fight the fight with you as things are beyond out of control. BNSF – $1,000 Canadian National Rail - $77,360 The above is ONLY for August $78,360
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 52 last 3 months JUNE—105390.00 JULY—78440.00 AUG—75512.00 TOTAL = 559342.00 $75,512
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 45 storage 8/1/21 thru 8/31/21 - we do more exports than imports this figure doesn't include per diem for which we get charged for having a box out too long on the export end, that was another $240,000 for the same dates. We are having to wait anywhere from 3-7 days to ingate a reefer hauling food products for exports - horrible situation, gone are the days when food take priority either. $75,000
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (UT) Over 80+ thousand in August 90% of it in Chicago the rest in Memphis with just a couple of loads insane!! $72,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 25 We paid around $65,000 for the Month of August 2021. $65,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 25 $65,000 on 7 trucks out of Chicago. - due to chassis availability issues and long dwell at the terminal. We've had drivers enter the ramp at 9PM and by the time they get a lift and go to outgate the container it is past midnight and we are still responsible for storage even though our truck entered the yard prior to free time expiring. That is very very unethical in my opinion. $65,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IN) 65 Aug 1st - Aug 31st. This is what we paid, some of the forwarders pay for it themselves so that's not included here. $61,950
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IN) 5 This does not include all the storage the customers paid, because we truly couldn’t afford to pay it all on behalf of our customers. * The rails have cut staffing to the bone and do not force their contractors to hire more people to accommodate the massive increase in freight * The dwell times have increased so badly that a city driver is lucky to complete one load a day. We run out of hours just waiting for a lift on and have to pull the drivers out to stay within HOS, what a complete waste of time to sit at a rail for 3-4 hours and leave empty handed! The rails want to blame the carriers and the customers and it is a total joke. I don’t care if they run 24/7 and they feel everyone else should as well which as everyone knows is unrealistic. I can’t imagine calling my customer and telling them to staff 24/7 because BNSF says so! $55,575
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 10 Rail storage paid 8/1 – 8/31 = $53,435.00 $53,435
10-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 212 $52,470
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 8 $46,198
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) 40K+ easily for August, and well over that already for September (130K). We moved 10 containers this week out of CN Harvey with $13,200 on each box. $40,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 100 Our biggest customer, not going to mention the name, is legitimately $1 MIL a month. $35,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 30 see below for rail storage we've paid just for August. UP: $11000-12000 BNSF: $12000 - $13000 CN Harvey: $5000 - $6000 that's only from our company paid to the rail and there's some cases that out customer directly paid to the rail as well. also, we have spent similar amount in July. $30,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 15 $30,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 45 we paid $30k on behalf of our customers but our customers paid an estimated $150k direct to the rail.
An even greater frustration is the empty returns. I cannot fully express my level of frustration with the daily run-around we get trying to return empties. Daily run-around sounds too mild - these words do not even come close to accurately capturing the depth of the frustration we go through returning empties. I started today with 10 empty containers in my yard that were rejected upon empty return. This causes an extra dray to the yard, free yard storage taking up yard space and then subsequent cost to get the box returned. We just now started enforcing a $250.00 fee to our customers for any and all rejected empties. Up until know, we absorbed, and the cost was in the tens of thousands.
Email says rail is full as of 10:30 a.m. How many drivers are heading to BNSF Elwood right now with Maersk empties that will get turned away? Who knows, who cares right!

Then Maersk just very casually says “LPC reached the today limit, please return to IL Transport-Chicago”
(Notice no one signs the email from Maersk, for all we know it’s a robot on the moon).

Look at how far they want us to travel? 105 miles round trip, with tolls, into the congested city. FOR FREE!!!!!

This happens all day, every single day for the past 7 months.
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) Total storage paid August 2021 was $28,839.46 in our office. Those numbers are artificially low, however, because many of our truckers have the power for prepulls and yard storage. Please share the article if you ever get one published! We’d be interested to see the numbers. We’re a relatively small company so I’d love to see where the rails fall as a whole. I know three of my door move containers alone incurred $30,000+ on them but since we don’t pay it wouldn’t be included in my numbers. Try this on..We have a container in New York being held by Agriculture that is to move Chicago via the carrier MSC. The customer has to pay $15,000.00 in storage for something they did not due, try that on if you are a small business. Docs were sent to Ag and they did not take off the hold, just one example in the big picture. Now we have the BN that has lot W were they hide stuff till it moves for staging lot S. It can sit for two months before it gets moved I know it is my customer. The place is like a walnut. I am in for working to help and clean this up. I appreciate the truckers and I see the time it is taking etc. Not necessary. On top we have to chase over and over just to tell you it is available and a pick up number. $28,839
9-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 20 $27,720
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) Most of our larger customers pay directly. We had one customer pay $50k in the last week. $26,392
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 15 $25,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 54 $25,000
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 13 $25,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 30 $22,515
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 16 On average we’ve been at about $20k/month. Our fleet in Chicago is not huge so that represents about $1,000/driver/month. This average has been in place all year… $20,000
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (MI) $18,500
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 22 roughly $17,535.00 in storage fees to CP, BNSF, NS & CSX. We have an account with UP and CN and they bill us directly. I don't have access to those transactions. I'd estimate roughly that the the 17K is at least 20-30% higher if I were to adjust for those rails that I don't directly see. This also excludes the containers that our customers elect to cover the storage themselves. One thing I can pass on, albeit it is anecdotal. I had a situation with a driver who was stuck at CSX 59th st. I called and asked for help, and in the middle of talking with the young lady she passively mentioned that they are short staffed, and in her opinion it was on purpose. What she said was that she suspected that the rail was being intentionally under staffing its facility as a insidious rouse to force the "older" employees out so that they can hire younger (cheaper) labor. Take it with a grain of salt. It very well could have come from an over worked and frustrated worker, but she said that they specifically did not have any additional staff to help my driver and that (in her words) "it is what it is." $17,535
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) During Aug1-31, in our record, we have paid more than $17500 for ramp storage fees directly. And there are several thousands dollars paid by customers or not recorded. $17,500
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) BNSF CN CP NS UP $15,925
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 72 $15,870
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (PA) $15,000
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 22 Why don’t they fix the lanes for the drivers going into the ramp Today they had one lane open for those that don’t use UPGO. The line was long enough that it blocked the drivers from getting to the UPGO lanes . LPC had the bare chassis lanes blocked off so drivers couldn’t get down them Why ? Many loaded containers come in over the week end . Most are on bad order chassis or no chassis . Yesterday they were moving them around so drivers couldn’t find them costing lots in storage . Had a driver that was lucky enough to get a bare chassis when he got in then had to wait 4 ½ hrs for a lift Seems a little excessive Why doesn’t the UP have someone on site that could inspect the chassis that the UP DRP boxes are on roadready chassis ? They use the cheapest tire they can get 100000 x 20 and then when drivers have flats on the road they are waiting up to 8 hrs for the chassis pool repairs to get to them We have had 4 drivers wait 7-8 hrs in the last 3 weeks Someone should pay for the time they are sitting $14,495
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (PA) I am sure we still have some pending or charges that may have not been classified correctly but for all rail storage paid directly regarding the Chicago rail ramps (the majority of our rail storage exposure is with the UP) We also need to keep in mind that this does not account for any yard pull, yard storage and additional per diem charges. In most cases, we will yard pull if we anticipate the container dwelling at the rail for more than a day after free time. $13,145
13-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) $10,045
17-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 20 Drivers are getting tired of the time wasted as well. It's getting harder to keep drivers interested in doing rail work. $10,000
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) We are a smaller company with a few great customers. They are getting tired of the storage as well… $10,000
9-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 25 $10,000
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) $9900 in storage charge paid to Chicago rails alone. $9,900
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (TX) In august for Chicago land we paid $9800 in storage and an additional $7935 in per diem $9,800
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (NJ) We have paid roughly $8500 - $10,000 just for the ramp storage fee for IL As per the rail guys there is no chassis available driver spend whole days at the rail ramp and came back without chassis and we have to compensate them as well Instead of peak season making money we are losing and I felt bad for my clients as they are paying a lot of money but the situation on all the ports are out of control If we are trying to grow the economy back to sky we have to work but the chassis issue is a big fact that we have to say No even we have available drivers with us $9,250
16-Sep-21 3rd-party (NE) For the month of August, all went to U.P. $9,100
9-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) Chicago Railyards only: $9k in rail storage
$6k in driver waiting time fees
$12k in pre-pull, yard storage fees where none usually incurred, additional yard pulls when depots are over allocation
$10k in SSL demurrage and detention fees
Some additional perspectives as Operations Management of a smaller third party company:
The BNSF had the audacity to publicly call the reduced free-time a quote “incentive” for industry to pick up cargo timely. ‘Out of touch’ is an understatement, call it what it is. Exploiting an overwhelmed supply chain.
I was having issues logging in to my user account to pay storage to a large Class I. I make heavy use of this function obviously. I contacted their eBusiness unit for support. That same day, I found myself on a trouble call with literally TWENTY of their IT and systems folks all trying to troubleshoot the issue. Can’t help but notice our inability to request/receive support issues with boxes, but when my ability to make storage payments is compromised, I received the royal treatment.
Most SSL’s do not and will not list 3rd parties in their rail billing. SSL’s will still instruct us and industry to contact the railyard for support, but railyard customer service will not engage with parties not listed on the billing. Providing pickup # as proof of chain of custody does not change anything. Ramps here are open 24/7 but SSL’s are not. SSL responses are far from timely, and they accept no responsibility for these issues. Good luck getting LFD extended or any support at all for an issue no fault of your own. Our SOP’s used to include ‘attempt to dispute these fees’, but our efforts have been fruitless of late and thus these have been stricken from our processes.
SSL’s will outright state ‘they are not responsible for the provision/allocation of chassis’, yet outgate restrictions and chassis mismatches still abound at LPC / G4.
9-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 80 $8,015
8-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 30 $8,000
10-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) It’s ridiculous. $8,000
8-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) does not include the instances where the customer paid $7,880
7-Sep-21 Draymen (WI) 12 We have also had customers clear storage due to chassis shortage and the BN’s reduced free time. We don’t have record of that so the number above doesn’t take those instances into account. $6,525
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (NJ) directly to Norfolk Southern and CSX $5,425
7-Sep-21 Draymen (IL) 16 The problem is the NS daily limit on in-gates, the time it takes to get mounted at all rails. Chassis shortages and the rails moving containers and not updating lot locations causing my drivers to spend hours searching the rail yards for containers and no spotter or person at the rail helping. There are myriads of other issues, but this would need to be a meeting to go over all the problems with the rails currently. We have added a $125 surcharge for all containers no matter which rail or depot they come out of or return. CN is a real issue, because they will ground containers late Friday and make Sunday the LFD and we are not a 24/7 operation. Customers know if this occurs, we will pay the storage, but add the charge to their invoice. $4,750
7-Sep-21 () $3,300
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (IL) $2,500
7-Sep-21 3rd-party (NJ) I did not have any shipments to Chicago this period. But I have a complaint about this same issue too. They are not just making money off storage, some of them even removed free time from ramps too. I had shipments to Birmingham R/R(MCccalla) and our LFD is same day as container is discharged from train. And not even on chassis. Train arrives on 4PM and LFD is same day. Ramps are charging storage for the containers that you cannot even pick up due to chassis storage. This is not fair. They are making money out of thin air. Less chassis to be available more money they make, why should they invest in buying new chassis? They are more issues I know and experienced over last year and it is not going better, it is going worse and worse. As a forwarder/NVOCC it is hard to explain this issues to consignees and harder if you are billing this costs to overseas, they don’t simply understand and rightfully so. Why should they bear the cost of storage if trucker cannot pick up container from terminal for any reason? I have worked in the overseas(in Turkey) never heard of such stupid thing. $0
10-Sep-21 3rd-party (UT) Containers notifying Friday and Saturday with Monday being Labor Day holidaym had storage due Tuesday. $0